Burnley PE teachers take 'run a marathon a day in May' challenge in their stride

The lockdown has not prevented six Burnley teachers, passionate about the physical and mental health and well being of their pupils, from practising what they teach.

By Susan Plunkett
Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 3:45 pm

Six members of the PE department at Sir John Thursby Community College came up the challenge to 'run a marathon a day in May.'

And so far they have gone above the 26.2 mile target , averaging around 30 to 40 miles a day and even 50 on some days, between them.

With their ages ranging from staff in their 20s to their 40s the team, led by Head of Department Heather Windle, are running, walking, cycling and rowing to clock up the mileage.

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Catching up 'virtually'on their challenge are colleagues Tom Ryland (top left) Andrew Hill (top right) William Oddy (bottom left) Heather Davies and Heather Windle.

They have encouraged their children and other family members to get involved in the challenge and so far have raised the terrific amount of £815 towards their £1,000 target for the charity Lancashire MIND.

An independent charity, which works to change the lives of children and adults in Lancashire to reduce the number of people who have experienced a mental health condition, it was established over 20 years ago.

And this week their mission is even more special as it is Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs until this Sunday (May 24th). Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation the theme this year is kindness.

PE teaching assistant Tom Ryland, who set up a facebook group to keep a record of the the team's daily achievements, and also let the public follow their journey, said: "On a daily basis we aim to improve physical and mental well-being through the delivery of PE and also a variety of extra curricular activities like football and cricket and also trips out for students.

Assistant headteacher Gary Woods is also taking part in the 'run a marathon a day in May' challenge

"As this has all stopped due to the restrictions we have come together as a department to raise awareness of mental health through the charity that provides fantastic support and guidance to people in the county."

The other members of staff involved in the challenge are assistant headteacher Gary Woods and PE teachers Heather Davies, William Oddy and Andrew Hill.

To follow their progress go to their facebook page 'SJT staff run a marathon a day in May' page.